Accessibility of washrooms (Additional references)

How to make washrooms accessible to persons with disabilities

Carriers are invited to refer to the Canadian Standards Association Standard CAN/CSA-B651-95 Barrier-free Design and, where it is appropriate to do so, to adopt the technical specifications contained in it for washroom accessibility features.

Washrooms onboard aircraft

For all aircraft with one aisle, at least one washroom should be accessible to persons with disabilities (with the exception of persons in an on-board wheelchair). 

For all aircraft with more than one aisle, at least one washroom should be accessible to persons with disabilities, including persons in an on-board wheelchair. 

This information is referenced in Aircraft Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities (Air Code).

Requirements for washrooms onboard aircraft
  Requirements Additional requirements for persons in on-board wheelchairs
Identification

The washroom should be identified by the international symbol of access (a blue square overlaid in white with an image of a person using a wheelchair) in pictograph and tactile form by or on the door.

n/a

Privacy

n/a

The washroom should afford privacy to a person in an on-board wheelchair.

Doors

Door handles, pulls, latches, locks and other operational devices should be operable with one hand and minimal force and should not require fine finger control, tight grasping, pinching or twisting of the wrist. They should also be colour contrasted from their surrounding area.

The doorway should be wide enough to accommodate a person in an on-board wheelchair and should have enough space outside the door to manoeuvre that wheelchair.

If thresholds are necessary, in accordance with the CSA design standard, they should be bevelled and not more than 1.3 cm (13 mm) in height.

In compliance with the CSA design standard, door handles, pulls, latches, locks and other operational devices should be mounted at a height that permits use by a person in an on-board wheelchair.

Floor space

n/a

The CSA recommends a clear level floor space adjacent to operating controls, that provides adequate room to manoeuvre the wheelchair, and permits a person in an on-board wheelchair to enter the washroom and use all the washroom facilities.

Toilets

The toilet should have a flush control that is colour contrasted from its surrounding area. The flush control should be within easy reach, and operable with a closed fist and minimal force, or be electronically or automatically controlled.

The toilet should have a back support if there is no seat lid, and a toilet paper dispenser within reaching distance that does not interfere with the grab bars.

The toilet should have a height and location that allow easy transfer for a person in an on-board wheelchair.

Grab bars

The washroom should have fixed or flip-up grab bars that are sturdy and conveniently located – on the wall behind the toilet, if possible, and on one of the walls beside the toilet.

Grab bars should be rounded, free of any sharp or abrasive element and slip-resistant. They should have an exterior diameter and a clearance from the wall surface to which they are attached that permit easy grasping.

Grab bars should be colour contrasted from their surrounding area or marked with a contrasting colour strip that runs the full length of the bar. They should also return to the wall in a smooth curve.

Grab bars should have a height and length that permit use by a person in an on-board wheelchair.

Sinks, faucets and other controls

Faucets and other controls should be colour contrasted from their surrounding area.

They should be operable with a closed fist and minimal force or be electronically or automatically controlled.

The sink should be positioned so that it is usable by a person in an on-board wheelchair.

Accessories

Accessories, such as soap dispensers, towel dispensers and waste receptacles, should be easy to use, colour contrasted from their surrounding area and identified by tactile signs.

Accessories should be positioned so that they are usable by a person in an on-board wheelchair.

Mirrors

n/a

The mirror should be mounted so that it is usable by a person in an on-board wheelchair.

Coat hooks

The coat hook should have rounded edges and should not project more than 4.0 cm (40 mm) from the wall.

The coat hook should be positioned so that it is usable by a person in an on-board wheelchair.

Call buttons

The washroom should have a call button that is colour contrasted from its surrounding area and identified by a tactile sign.

The call button should be operable with one hand and minimal force and not require fine finger control, tight grasping, pinching or twisting of the wrist.

The call button should be positioned so that it is usable by a person in an on-board wheelchair.

Washrooms onboard trains

Public washrooms on all passenger rail cars, other than a coach car that provides a wheelchair tie-down, should be accessible to persons with disabilities with the exception of persons in a wheelchair.

A coach car with a wheelchair tie-down should have at least one washroom that is wheelchair-accessible. 

This information is referenced in Passenger Rail Car Accessibility and Terms and Conditions of Carriage by Rail of Persons with Disabilities (Rail Code).

Requirements for washrooms onboard trains
  Requirements Additional requirements for persons in personal wheelchairs
Identification

The washroom should be identified by the international symbol of access in pictograph and tactile form by or on the door.

n/a

Privacy

n/a

The washroom should afford privacy to a person in a personal wheelchair.

Doors

Door handles, pulls, latches, locks and other operational devices should be operable with one hand and minimal force and should not require fine finger control, tight grasping, pinching or twisting of the wrist. They should also be colour contrasted from their surrounding area.

If sliding doors are used, these operational devices should be exposed and usable from both sides when in a fully-open position.

The doorway should be wide enough to accommodate a person in a personal wheelchair and should have enough space outside the door to manoeuvre that wheelchair.

If thresholds are necessary, they should not be more than 13 mm high and they should be bevelled.

Door handles, pulls, latches, locks and other operational devices should be mounted at a height that permits use by a person in a personal wheelchair.

Floor space

n/a

The floor space should permit a person in a personal wheelchair to enter the washroom and use all the washroom facilities.

Toilets

The toilet should have a flush control that is colour contrasted from its surrounding area. The flush control should be operable with a closed fist and minimal force, or be electronically or automatically controlled.

The toilet should have a back support if there is no seat lid, and a toilet paper dispenser within reaching distance that does not interfere with the grab bars.

The toilet should have a height and location that allow easy transfer for a person in a personal wheelchair.

Grab bars

The washroom should have fixed or flip-up grab bars that are sturdy and conveniently located - on the wall behind the toilet, if possible, and on one of the walls beside the toilet.

Grab bars should be rounded, free of any sharp or abrasive element and slip-resistant. They should have an exterior diameter and a clearance from the wall surface to which they are attached that permit easy grasping.

Grab bars should be colour contrasted from their surrounding area or marked with a contrasting colour strip that runs the full length of the bar. They should also return to the wall in a smooth curve.

Grab bars should have a height and length that permit use by a person in a personal wheelchair.

Sinks, faucets and other controls

Faucets and other controls should be colour contrasted from their surrounding area.

They should have handles of the lever type that are operable with a closed fist and minimal force, or be electronically or automatically controlled.

The sink should be positioned such that it is usable by a person in a personal wheelchair.

Accessories

Accessories, such as soap dispensers, towel dispensers and waste receptacles, should be easy to use.

They should be colour contrasted from their surrounding area and identified by tactile markers.

Accessories should be easy to use and positioned such that they are usable by a person in a personal wheelchair.

Mirrors

n/a

The mirror should be mounted such that it is usable by a person in a personal wheelchair.

Coat hooks

The coat hook should have rounded edges and should be mounted on a side wall.

The coat hook should be positioned such that it is usable by a person in a personal wheelchair.

Call buttons

The washroom should have a call button that is colour contrasted from its surrounding area and identified by a tactile marker.

The call button should be operable with one hand and minimal force and not require fine finger control, tight grasping, pinching or twisting of the wrist.

The call button should send a signal that can reach staff at all times.

The call button should be positioned such that it is usable by a person in a personal wheelchair.

Report a problem on this page

* Please select all that apply: (required)

Date modified: